Nærbilde av overvektig gutt på fem-seks år på et lekeapparat.
Overweight and obesity decreased among boys. Then the pandemic came.

Overweight and obesity increased among boys in Norway during the pandemic

In the years leading up to the pandemic, the prevalence of overweight and obesity among young boys was declining. During the pandemic, it rose again.

This trend is based on measurements of 78,000 children taken between 2010 and 2022.

The children were measured when they were 2, 4, 6, 8, and 13 years old.

Increased among the youngest

The school health service in Bergen municipality conducted the measurements, together with researchers at the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

The data showed a decline in overweight and obesity rates among boys, while the rates for girls remained stable. However, during the pandemic years 2020–2022, overweight and obesity increased in boys aged 4, 6, and 8.

Several international studies have also reported an increase in these rates during the pandemic, attributing it to restrictions that led to more sedentary behaviour and reduced physical activity.


Read the Norwegian version of this article on forskning.no


Balthasar et al. Trends in overweight and obesity in Bergen, Norway, using data from routine child healthcare 2010–2022, Acta Paediatrica, 2024. DOI: 10.1111/apa.17323

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